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Fall 2010 | Vol. 12 | No. 5
Annual Meeting Draws Record Crowd to Kansas City to Discuss Technology
More than 550 highway safety professionals from across the country came together in Kansas City September 26-29 to share best practices and strategies to move Toward Zero Deaths. The meeting, themed Technology and Highway Safety: What’s Driving Our Future, examined both the benefits and challenges that technology presents in reducing deaths and injuries on our roadways.
Both general sessions and breakout workshops included the technology theme. At the opening general session on Monday, NHTSA Administrator David Strickland discussed his agency’s focus on driver distraction and other key priorities. Strickland also announced that for the first half of 2010 highway fatalities decreased nationally at a rate of 9.2 percent, continuing a downward trend. Not coincidentally, Strickland released the new national seat belt use rate—a record high rate of 85 percent.
Tuesday’s general session featured futurist Glenn Hansen, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) President Adrian Lund and Peter Kissinger, President of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Lund released new research on the effectiveness of texting laws, while Kissinger focuses on the importance of developing a traffic safety culture. New York Times reporter Matt Richtel discussed his Pulitzer Prize-winning distracted driving reporting during the conference’s closing session.
The Annual Meeting was the setting for the presentation of GHSA’s Annual Highway Safety Awards. Former MADD CEO Chuck Hurley received the Association’s highest award—the James J. Howard Highway Safety Trailblazer Award. Former Delaware Office of Highway Safety Director Tricia Roberts received the Kathryn J. R. Swanson Public Service Award. GHSA also presented four Peter K. O’Rourke Special Achievement Awards. The winners were the Crawford County (Kansas) S.A.F.E. Program, DCH Auto Group, the Florida Motorcycle Safety Coalition and the Zero Fatalities program (Utah).
While the days were packed with sessions and workshops, evening social and networking opportunities were held at the National World War I Museum and the College Basketball Experience.
Presentations and photos from the meeting can be found at www.ghsa.org/html/meetings/annual/2010/index.html.